ILLEGAL PROPERTY NIGHTMARE WORSENS

Mijas Mayor Antonio Sanchez was forced to call in the Local Police to remove members of the Association for the Regularisation of Irregular Buildings who protesting outside the Town Hall during a council meeting last Thursday morning. Some 8,000 families are affected by the Mijas council’s plans to demolish illegal constructions or impose hefty fines their owners. It was just another incident in the increasingly confusing scenario surrounding illegal properties. While Mijas and other councils are threatening demolition, Marbella Mayor Angeles Muñoz said two weeks ago she would do everything possible to regularise all illegal properties, and in the interior it seems the local councils are beginning to get tough as well. At least two illegal home-owners in the Coin-Monda area are facing fines of just over €100,000. One of them said he had received notification from the regional tax collection office that he had to pay the fine by November 5th. Failure to do so would mean an added bill the following day for interest on that amount, which should have been paid three years ago. The property will be embargoed the same day and if the fine is not paid within six to eight nine months, it will be put up for auction. But there’s a catch. Not being legal, in the eyes of the law the building does not exist, therefore only the land will be auctioned. The owner said he does not have that amount of money in the bank here and even if he had it in his account in England he would not be able to get it transferred in time. Given the amount involved, the transaction would have to be made through the Bank of Spain and he would have to present a document explaining why he wanted the money. All that takes time, the owner said, adding that even if he abandoned the property and left the country, the Spanish authorities could still catch up with him further down the line. The worst thing of all is that he knows that all this could have been avoided if he had taken a friend’s advice and tried to sort out his property’s papers while there was still time.

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